Beneful® Breaks Ground on Dog Park in Alabama

Local Dog Owner’s Ideas Help Inspire Renovation

Paws got dirty at a special groundbreaking event in the off-leash area of Alabaster, Alabama’s Veterans Park that was hosted by Beneful® brand dog food to kick off its second $500,000 Dream Dog Park renovation.

Licensed contractor Jason Cameron, who hosts DIY Network’s “Desperate Landscapes” and is managing the renovation, joined Alabaster City officials and representatives from the dog food brand to unveil the blueprint for the half-million dollar transformation. Also in attendance were local resident Jennifer Wilson and her dog Honey Belle, who was found as a stray in Veterans Park. Wilson is the Grand Prize winner of the 2011 Beneful Dream Dog Park Contest that invited dog owners across the country to answer the question: “If you had $500,000 to create a dream dog park for you and your best buddy, what would you do?” As Grand Prize Winner, Wilson’s ideas are helping serve as inspiration for the makeover of the off-leash area in Veterans Park.

The renovated dog park, which will be unveiled in summer 2012, will include many fun features designed to inspire play, such as water splash pads to keep pooches cool during the dog days of summer; exercise paths with hills to climb and tunnels to explore; a large fetch field for big dogs and a mini-fetch football field for small dogs; as well as a community gathering spot, among other features.

“The City of Alabaster cannot begin to express its gratitude to Beneful for this generous $500,000 in-kind donation to create a first-of-its-kind Dream Dog Park right in our own backyard,” said City of Alabaster Mayor David Frings. “Veterans Park is already a great source of pride for this community. Once renovated, the off-leash area will become an even more popular play destination for local residents and a tourist attraction for years to come.”

“For millions of dog owners, life is better when they are with their four-legged best buddies, whether they are running an errand, going for a walk or playing at the local dog park,” said Ken Wilhelm, Beneful® brand director. “Our mission is to help inspire more opportunities for owners and dogs to play together by creating dream destinations for entire communities to enjoy. We’re looking forward to unveiling our Dream Dog Park in Alabaster this summer.”

Wilson’s winning entry in the 2011 Beneful® Dream Dog Park Contest was selected from hundreds of submissions based on consumer voting and judging by the Beneful Dream Team, led by Cameron and pet expert Arden Moore, who provides expertise on the renovation from a dog’s point of view. The Dream Team’s judging counted for 90 percent of the final score and the public vote was 10 percent of the final score to select the winner. The judging criteria included: creativity of the idea to enhance your daily adventure with your dog at your neighborhood dog park (60%); feasibility of bringing the idea to life (20%); and effective demonstration of how life is better together with your dog (20%).

In addition to having her ideas help serve as inspiration for the makeover, Wilson received a $10,000 check at today’s event that she donated to the Shelby Humane Society, of which she is Executive Director.

Beneful unveiled its first $500,000 Dream Dog Park in Newtown Park in Johns Creek, Ga., in June 2011. For more information on the contest, please visit www.benefuldreamdogpark.com.

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